Randy Orton is one of the biggest WWE stars of the last decade without a doubt. Outside John Cena and Batista, few can argue that Orton has been one of the most dominant presences on WWE television since his 2002 debut. He’s made numerous trips to Eastern Iowa since that time, frequently appearing at events in Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities.
“The Evolution of the Predator” details his career over three discs. Read the review of the disc 1 documentary here. Disc two covers the first half of the young wrestlers career from 2001 until 2005.
The opening match is actually from before Randy Orton’s WWE career as he took on Slick Robbie D at OVW Christmas Chaos 2001. OVW was the then WWF’s development territory. Orton trained and rose up through the ranks there. The match showed a very limited (but still recognizable) Orton as he picked up the win over his foe with a Full Nelson Slam (his then finisher). *.
The match moved on to Orton’s early face career on Smackdown from 2002 in his first WWE match against Hardcore Holly. It was a brief, simple match, but Orton picked up the win with a Oklahoma Roll. 1/2*.
Match three moves Orton in to his Evolution career at Unforgiven 2003. A year and a half in to his career, he took on his biggest challenge yet: Shawn Michaels. The two men went quite a while in this one with Ric Flair helping from the outside. It was also the first time, fans really got any idea what Orton could bring to the ring. Still most of the match’s success was obviously due to HBK. **1/4.
With Mick Foley as special referee, Randy Orton challenged Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental belt in the next match. The story of the match is Orton grounding RVD, and RVD fighting out from under the beating. A distraction by Flair allowed Orton to pick up the win and take his first WWE title, abelt he would hold for months to come. **1/4.
The fifth match is an interesting one: the 3-on-2 handicap match from Wrestlemania XX that pitted Orton, Flair and Batista against Mick Foley and The Rock—in Dwayne Johnson’s last Wrestlemania appearance until 2011. The Rock’N’Sock Connection controlled much of the match, but Orton picked up a huge win with an RKO out of nowhere on Foley. **1/2.
Read the the second half of the disc 2 review for The Evolution of a Predator here.
Eastern Iowa fans can find Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator at just about anywhere DVDs are sold including any of the three Cedar Rapids metro area Wal-Marts or Best Buy. Online copies can easily be found at Amazon or WWE Shop.